Title: Shape of a Boy
Author: Kate Wickers
Genre: Travel/Memoir/Narrative Nonfiction
Publisher: Aurum, Quarto
Publication Date: 5th July 2022 (paperback)
‘Have kids, will travel’ is veteran travel journalist Kate’s mantra. Her intrepid spirit is infectious in this warm, engaging account of her family’s adventures and misadventures. She shares the life lessons learnt on their travels, from overcoming disappointment in Thailand to saying sorry in Japan, discovering perseverance in Borneo and learning about conservation in Malaysia.
From the jungles of southeast Asia to the waterfront in Havana and the blazing heat of Egypt, Shape of a Boy captures the essence of being a parent in the thick of it and learning on the hoof. Inspirational for anyone who has dreaded travelling with a baby, toddler, or teen, it is a life-affirming read for every wannabe-traveller.
Kate’s vivid evocation of the highs and lows of family time make you belly-laugh and bring a lump to your throat.
I am not someone who travels a lot. I find it intensely stressful so I generally avoid it. I do, however, love reading about other cultures and the nature that can be found in far flung corners of the globe. Shape of a Boy is the PERFECT book for fulfilling your inner wanderer without actually having to go anywhere at all! The book follows travel writer Kate Wickers on the many adventures she has undertaken with her young family throughout the years. Each chapter covers a different trip and follows the evolution of her sons growing up, learning and experiencing the world through these varied family holidays.
I honestly cannot overstate how much I enjoyed reading this book! Shape of a Boy is full of warmth and wit in equal measure and also had me laughing out loud time and time again. The concept of children learning about history and culture through travel with their parents could have been corny but Wickers writes in a way that never feels anything other than completely genuine and is also often rather moving. I loved every single chapter and absolutely flew through the pages, whilst simultaneously not wanting it to end. I cannot imagine anyone not enjoying this book and could not recommend it more highly. An easy five stars and one of my favourites of the year!
Thank you to Claire Maxwell and Quarto for having me on the tour and for the lovely paperback. My review is entirely my own honest opinion.
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